Vancouver advisory panel recommends changes to B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Act

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      An advisory committee with the City of Vancouver has suggested changes to the provincial tenancy law to enhance renter protection.

      These include increasing to three months the notice required for tenants to leave because of renovations.

      The Renters’ Advisory Committee also proposed establishing a minimum penalty for landlords who do not follow the law on evicting tenants in the Residential Tenancy Act.

      “There is a rental housing crisis in this city, and with renters making up half of Vancouver’s households the time to take action is now,” committee Alvin Singh said in a news release issued Thursday (November 12) by the office of Mayor Gregor Robertson.

      “Our report is the latest in a long line of recommendations to improve the situation of renters here and across B.C. and now it’s up to the province to take action. The ball is in their court,” Singh also said.

      The committee also suggested waiving dispute resolution fees for low-income renters, limiting rent increases at the end of fixed-term tenancies, and providing translation services in dispute hearings.

      The city mayor is backing the recommendations, which will be presented to council on Tuesday (November 17.

      “With more than half of Vancouver households renting and vacancy rates at record lows, it can be extremely challenging for Vancouver renters out there,” Robertson said in the media release.